redesign of a cybersecurity tool

by Sean McKenna, Dominika Mazur, Matthew Parkin, Jim Agutter, Miriah Meyer
cybersecurity network security redesign project

We worked as a multidiciplinary visualization team on a redesign project, lasting seven months, as we focused on improving the usability and effectiveness of a currently deployed robust visualization system (RVS) for cybersecurity analysts. Specifically, our team was tasked with providing ideas for how to redesign the visualization of information within RVS. Over the course of the project we worked with: developers, researchers, and managers at the company that developed and maintains RVS; several Department of Defense intrusion analysts that use RVS; and several cybersecurity analysts at our team’s university. This redesign project included several real-world constraints for our team, namely a strict time frame for producing redesign ideas, limited funding available for implementing our ideas by software developers, confidentiality issues surrounding cybersecurity data, and the engineering realities of working within a large software system.

Based on our analysis of the literature and interviews with analysts, we brainstormed ideas for improving RVS and prototyped several visualization redesigns. Taking these prototypes, the company that maintains RVS selected a handful of our recommended changes, implemented these within the tool, and validated their effectiveness with several cybersecurity experts.